• From speculative design to technology roadmaps and back again. Making use of speculative design in participatory agenda setting

    SESSION C.2: Artist Talk: Time, Space, Matter
    Day 2. Friday, 28th October.
    18:30 – 20:30
    Venue: CCCB: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

    In the context of new and emerging research fields and technologies, a wide variety of speculations on future possibilities, societies and identities exist, mainly driven by films, literature, computer games and art. At their best, these speculations open up discussions on how we want to live in the future. They raise questions on shared values, ethical concerns and potential technologies. Nevertheless, speculative narratives are sparsely used when it comes to research planning and agenda setting for new technologies.

    In this context, our research project Shaping Future (2014-2017) explores and develops new methods to make use of speculative prototyping and speculative design to establish a bidirectional exchange between research and society: (1) speculative objects – so called narrative objects – were developed by laypersons to convey the needs and values of civil actors to technology specialists and research strategists; (2) and speculative design prototypes, developed by professional designers, will be used to translate technology roadmaps into objects for an interactive exhibition (starting in August 2016).To foster engagement and discussions, visitors will be enabled to interact with exhibited speculative design prototypes and give their feedback.

    The project was designed and evaluated by designers and social scientists. It has developed an original methodology that fosters shared insights into technological developments. The approach follows key assumptions from scientific and policy driven approaches such as “Responsible Research and Innovation” (von Schomberg, 2013; EC, 2012), “Social Shaping of Technology” (Jørgensen et al., 2009) and “Public Engagement in Science” (McCallie et al., 2009): It considers that the needs and values of society must be emphasised to synchronise long-term research trajectories with public preferences.

    To present the project and key findings, the authors will present the approach, show examples of developed objects and focus on the exhibition of speculative design prototypes.

    Marie Lena Heidingsfelder and Kora Kimpel
    Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation / Institute of Time-based Media

    Marie Lena Heidingsfelder, communication scientist, is research assistant at the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation. Current projects focus on need-oriented research planning and technology and knowledge transfer. Marie is a PhD candidate at the University of the Arts Berlin with a research focus on science communication and design fiction. She co-develops teachings and gives classes at the University of Konstanz with the topics of innovation and diversity management.

    Prof. Kora Kimpel is a new media designer and design consultant for various companies and research projects with over 20 years of experience. Since 2004, she has been a professor for Interface and Interaction Design at Berlin University of the Arts mentoring students in interface and interaction design. She studied industrial design with a focus on interface design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Braunschweig and the Universidad de Bellas Artes Barcelona. She has been on the managing board of the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF) since 2008. Since 2009, she has been collaborating with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft as a consultant on various research projects.


Department of Art History
Universitat de Barcelona
c/ Montalegre 6-8.
08001 Barcelona

Call for Papers
Organizing Committee

The images for the Art and Speculative Futures conferences are generously provided by artist Regina de Miguel from her video Una Historia Nunca Contada desde Abajo (2016).